Northumberland cinema to host ‘Foscars’ short film festival made by people with additional needs

Northumberland’s only full-time independent cinema has raised more than £1,000 towards a “groundbreaking” inclusion project which will help people with additional needs to create their own short films.

The Forum Cinema in Hexham is hoping to raise more than £6,000 in total for the Foscars, which will take place in October. After a small pilot in 2023, the aim is an annual mini-film festival, with showings on the big screen at the cinema on Hexham Market Place.

Funds raised will go towards the costs of equipment, workshops, and resources needed to produce and showcase the films. Alongside the Forum Cinema, the project involves four Hexham entities that work with people with additional needs: Gateway into the Community, Stage Fright, The Priory School, and WeCan.

However, the project is open to anyone in the community and not just limited to service users of the four charities. Clare Mwande, manager at the Forum Cinema, said: “As a community cinema, we are reaching out to everyone, not just the pockets of people who will walk in the door.

“We want to make sure everybody has got access to the cinema and they can find themselves represented there. It’s a community screen and it’s there for people to experiment and play with to some extent.”

A shot from the "Foscars" pilot in 2023
A shot from the “Foscars” pilot in 2023

“Lots of people in our community aren’t represented on the big screen. But we can give that option to create something that represents them.”

Chris Kelly, marketing officer of The Forum Cinema Hexham, added: “We believe in the power of film to bring people together and create community. Through this project, we are embarking on a journey to empower individuals with additional needs to express themselves through the art of filmmaking, while celebrating their unique voices and experiences.”

The Foscars is earmarked to take place in October, with a date to be finalised soon. For more information on the Forum Cinema’s fundraiser, visit their page on SpaceHive.

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View news Source: https://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/north-east-news/northumberland-cinema-host-foscars-short-29053153

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